Google to restrict ad-blocking to paying customers only

Google has finally clarified that they will be restricting ad-blocking in extensions to paying customers of their enterprise services.

This is an unsurprising move from the advertising giant which has previously remotely-deleted ad blocking extensions and software from user’s software and devices. Recently Google has taken the extreme step of blocking all apps from third party devices which has resulted in a court injunction against them.

Source: https://9to5google.com/2019/05/29/chrome-ad-blocking-enterprise-manifest-v3/

Independent Study: Google Duplex uses humans in 75% of their calls

Google’s Duplex is a service which provides an AI voice assistant that calls businesses to make reservations and appointments. Lots of skepticism has been thrown onto it after it’s on-stage demo appeared to have been entirely faked.

Now however an explanation make exist which demonstrates why it is working so well, or perhaps more pointedly, why it isn’t working.

An independent study recently taken has shown that Duplex utilizes humans to speak in 75% of the calls. With it’s back up against a wall, Google has confirmed it does use humans in their calls but insists the rate is 35%.

The study highlights the ongoing debate about AI and whether it is deserving of the hype and investment money it is receiving. It appears that one of the largest tech companies on Earth has produced a call-center for you to outsource your restaurant bookings over the phone under the guise of being a technology-driven, “Artificially Intelligent” solution.

Such scams are common the scene as the technology rarely works as it is sold to clients but businesses need to maintain a veneer of success, competence and most importance: technological edge over their competitors.

It is already starting to sound like the plot to a Silicon Valley episode. I imagine in my head some crazy scheme where the guys have to prove their tech works and instead of actually producing a viable implementation they just heavily-compress all of their client’s data using conventional (and slow) algorithms while keeping uncompressed copies available side by side. They can then show just how quickly they were able to encode and decode everything in milliseconds. Just hoping to fool investors long enough to keep the runway going for them to figure out a real implementation, or to just pivot away once again.

Source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/05/22/google-duplex-is-made-of-people/

Google announces increase of ad-placements on Android Home screens, search and YouTube

Google has announced this month that they will be increasing the placement of advertisements on Android Home screens and YouTube’s recommended videos.

These new ads will be in the form of (static) image galleries which you can scroll through. These kinds of ads will likely be harder to block out, particularly in YouTube’s recommended video list.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2019/5/14/18623541/google-gallery-discovery-mobile-ads-announced

Leet Link Protector is available for you to use

I have a hosted link protector here: https://www.iruberleet.org/leetlp/

You can use this to password protect a link or use a captcha image, the real purpose is just to post links and share a different one. You can save any text or group or links in a single entry. This method of sharing links also hides the HTTP referrer.

How to connect your PSP to the Internet

Every so often I come across a request for instructions on how to connect a PSP to the internet. It is usually after the user has attempted to connect unsuccessfully. I’m still amazed that people are trying to connect these to the internet. One of the few great reasons to do it still is to play multiplayer games with a virtual LAN.

 

  1. Do not attempt to connect using the PSP E1000 model, it does NOT have a network interface (Wi-Fi adapter) and there is no known way to connect it to the internet. If you need to obtain things off of the internet for your E1000 model, you will have to connect the console to a computer with a USB cable, connect your memory card to a computer or even connect your PSP to a PS3 console or a PSOne console (it is a PS2 Japanese console that can connect with a PSP)
  2. The PSP Go (N1000) model has bluetooth built-in and is the ONLY MODEL with this feature. Using the bluetooth you can tether to another device and access the internet, including through a dial-up connection even. You should also be able to tether this to your computers (with bluetooth) and smartphones as well to access the internet.
  3. Your PSP’s firmware MUST be version 2.00 or above to access the most basic networking features. WPA-PSK (AES) requires firmware version 2.50 or greater. The PSP Go’s bluetooth-tethering require firmware version 6.10 or greater. You should be on version 6.60 anyways but I am specifying these in case you insist on a lower version.
  4. To access some features of the official PlayStation Network you will NEED to have the latest 6.61 firmware version. This firmware version may be more difficult to replace with a “custom firmware” that lets you play game backups (ISOs, CSOs), homebrew or other software modifications to your PSP.
  5. Your Wi-Fi router/access point needs to be running 802.11b or at least allowing an 802.11b client (All PSP Wi-Fi is 802.11b, never anything else). The PSP uses Marvell 88W8010 networking adapter which DOES SUPPORT 802.11g but there DOES NOT EXIST any means of activating this. It can theoretically be activated via a software update or some homebrew software but it appears unlikely at this time that we will ever see it happen.
  6. Your Wi-Fi router/access point needs to use either WEP, WPA-PSK (TKIP) or WPA-PSK (AES) for encryption. Nothing else will work, period. WPA2 WILL NOT WORK!
  7. Since the PSP requires that you use insecure encryption schemes I strongly recommend that you tether it over bluetooth in the case of a PSP Go model or even create a special Access Point for just the PSP. You may wish to buy a USB Wi-Fi adapter or even use an old, spare router for this. Please use WPA-PSK (AES) for your encryption as it is the strongest available for the PSP.
  8. Most modern computers are capable of setting up a Wireless Access Point but whatever you decide, this access point should NOT be left running constantly and instead should only be enabled when you plan to use your PSP and connect it to the internet.